When I was about 12 years old, my friends and I liked to walk to a neighborhood book store to buy stick candy and peruse the book selection. The owners graciously allowed us this pleasure although we never purchased anything but candy and left sticky fingerprints on many books during our visits. That is until they telephoned our parents to alert them we had shown specific interest in one book, and perhaps they should purchase it. The next thing I knew, the book Where Did I Come From was presented to me by my mother and she intended for us to read it together! Not unlike most teen girls, I would have much preferred exploring the my adolescent questions with my girlfriends instead of my mother, despite her good intentions.
With unlimited information from the internet and social media, teen girls today have similar questions but are faced with more complex situations; however, surprisingly, they often lack reliable resources or platforms that offer access to meaningful health information.
Created for and with New Orleans teen girls, Geaux Girl! fills this need by providing a unique print and online magazine with a mission to inform, inspire, engage and empower.
When Geaux Girl! Founder and Editor in Chief Heide Winston moved to Louisiana from her native Germany, she was surprised by the lack of comprehensive sex education offered, especially in a state with some of the highest rates of STIs, HIV and teen pregnancies in the country. Upon further realization that Louisiana doesn’t require schools offer sex education, Heide and a friend were inspired to develop the magazine, loosely based upon a similar publication she enjoyed as a teen in Germany.
Each free issue includes articles on a wide range of topics – from mental health to astrology – and always features “Real Talk”, a question and answer forum for girls with Dr. La’Nasha Tanner and her team at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine. “Real Talk” provides a resource that normalizes conversations around puberty and sexuality in addition to empowering girls to make healthy, responsible decisions.
What makes Geaux Girl! unique, however, is their Teen Advisory Council. The group of 15 girls from varied backgrounds, 12 to 18 years old, shape content for each issue by sharing feedback and ideas, and choosing their favorite teen writing and visual arts submissions, thereby ensuring the authenticity and realistic representation of teen girls. Together with magazine’s editorial team, they help produce an entertaining, educational and wholesome magazine – and connect and collaborate with girls from around the city in the process.
Speaking of Geaux Girl!’s mission to foster inclusion and belonging, Teen Advisory Council member Mylah shares, “The Geaux Girl! Teen Advisory Council is a sisterhood of young girls coming together as one to help other girls follow in their footsteps.”
Geaux Girl!’s readership is all teen girls in the Greater New Orleans area, and 11,000 free copies are distributed annually citywide at Orleans and Jefferson parish public libraries, NORD locations, community centers, schools, doctors’ offices and hospitals. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Geaux Girl! relies on the generosity of local individuals and corporate sponsors to fund their publication. They strive to increase financial support by connecting with potential sponsors and advertisers to continue producing this invaluable resource and platform for local teen girls.
Teen contributor Y’vonne says, “Geaux Girl! is an uplifting organization for young girls, an influential magazine and a way for girls to feel like themselves while being told, ‘You geaux, girl.’”
A little more…
To make a donation or purchase advertising space, visit GeauxGirlMagazine.org.